Mick Mars accuses Mötley Crüe of “trying to take my legacy away”, Nikki Sixx says he’s in a “complete hallucination”

Motley Crue’s Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx playing live
Former Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars and ex-bandmate Nikki Sixx (Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images/Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

The bitter war of words between ex-Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars and his former bandmates has escalated, with Mars accusing them of trying to take away his legacy – while bassist Nikki Sixx claims the rest of the band watched him “physically fall apart, mentally fall apart, his memory fell apart.”

In a brand new interview with Rolling Stone, Mars said: “When they wanted to get high and fuck everything up [in the 80s], I covered for them. Now they’re trying to take my legacy away, my part of Mötley Crüe, my ownership of the name, the brand.

“How can you fire Mr. Heinz from Heinz ketchup?” he continued. “He owns it. Frank Sinatra’s or Jimi Hendrix’s legacy goes on forever, and their heirs continue to profit from it. They’re trying to take that away from me. I’m not going to let them.”

Mars announced in October 2022 that was retiring from touring with the band due to his ongoing battle with the degenerative disease Ankylosing Spondylitis. In a statement at the time, Mars’ representatives said: "Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road.” 

The band responded with a statement of their own, praising Mars’ decision to “retire from the band” as “the ultimate act of courage.” They announced that he would be replaced by former Rob Zombie guitarist John 5.

However, in April 2023, the guitarist filed a lawsuit alleging that that the band wanted to cut Mars' share in profits from their earnings from 25% to 5% – something they denied. He also claimed that Nikki Sixx, singer Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee all used pre-recorded backing tracks during their last tour with Mars, something the rest of the band countered with sworn declarations from seven crew members saying they played live.

In the new Rolling Stone interview, Sixx responded to Mars’ claims, alleging the guitarist could not remember how to play some of the band’s songs ahead of their 2020 reunion tour, and that he was in poor physical and mental shape.

“We were there watching him physically fall apart, mentally fall apart, his memory fell apart,” Sixx told Rolling Stone. “ We really were, with kid gloves, always trying to support Mick. We’ve always stood by his side. But we couldn’t let his side of the stage just be a train wreck. And now he’s only saying these things because he’s trying to hurt us. What’s the point? He’s destroying his own legacy.”

The bassist added: “Dude, we love the fuckin’ guy. It’s really scary, [him] being in this complete hallucination.”

Rolling Stone reports that Mars is working on his debut solo album, Another Side Of Mars, citing track titles including Killing Breed, Broken On The Inside, Alone, Lonely In Your Grave, Loyal To The Lie, Decay, Fear, Memories and Erased.

Mötley Crüe are currently on the European leg of their co-headlining tour with Def Leppard.

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